MANILA – Reports claiming former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sought political asylum in Dominican Republic was promptly quashed.
A report from the Associated Press said Dominican Republic Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso said he has not received an application for asylum from Arroyo.
Arroyo is facing several charges of plunder and electoral sabotage, both non-bailable charges. The charges, however, have remained in the level of preliminary investigation.
Rumors about Arroyo seeking political asylum in Dominican Republic peaked last week.
De Lima noted that Arroyo planned to seek treatment in countries that had no extradition treaties with the Philippines.
The former President and husband Atty. Mike Arroyo have gone to the Supreme Court to challenge De Lima’s order.
The denial from the South American country should prompt the government to do its homework first before dragging countries to what’s turning to be a very political issue in our country.
The Department of Justice could have simply coordinated first with the Department of Foreign Affairs in dealing with this matter. A confirmation could have been obtained from the Philippine missions in South America.
What is clear is that only the former President knows where she is going to seek political asylum, if indeed she has such plans. What the government must do is to firm up any of the charges that it promised to file against Arroyo. Until now, the charges remain in the preliminary investigation.
The government cannot stop Arroyo from leaving and it is a matter of time for the Supreme Court to say so.